iBlue 747 GPS logger modding for MacOS

Have you ever had the same problem, shooting a photograph in holiday, and back home you can hardly remember where exactly you’ve been all around ?
The solution, GPS photo tagging. Unfortunately cameras with integrated GPS, are f****ing expensive, GPS PDA handhelds, mobile phones, also costs a lot of money, and GPS car navigation are not suitable for photo tagging at all.
But there is one kind of gadgets that work well as a camera accompaniment are GPS loggers.
Two of them are wide spread, the Sony GPS-CS1 and the iBlue747. I decided myself for the latter one, as its price is half of that of the Sony, further it has bluetooth realtime navigation capabilities (when peered with PDA or mobile) and higher precision support through DGPS.
But there was one drawback. Connecting the iBlue via USB to my Mac and get it working fails due to missing drivers for the GPS’s USB to UART serial chip-set. OK, Mac has bluetooth, iBlue has bluetooth, so just peer them together, device type “Other”, PIN “0000”, Bingo !

I got my device: /dev/tty.iBT-GPS-SPPslave-1

But then came the next hurdle, GPS information was received from the iBlue, but sending commands to setup the device’s auto-logging timing and verboseness, and the more important download of the way-points stored in the 16MB flash, failed.

After some googling I did find the final solution:

Soldering a 1kOhm resistor between the bluetooth modules RX-line and the GPS chip input, enables control of GPS chips registers via bluetooth.
Now it’s possible to send commands via bluetooth, and initiate a download of the stored GPS logs.
It’s also possible to reprogram the GPS chip to take up to 5 samples per second instead of 1, thus filling up your flash memory of the logger faster, resulting in less way-points to store, be careful. There’re further more dangerous things you can do, as the GPS chip offers more than 180 commands for tweaking.
Good enough for me, just pushing the front button when I take a picture and I’m done with a marked way-point in the loggers internal storage.

Some things I found on the net, useful when playing with the iBlue:
? iBlue-Home
? Windows-Drivers
? MacOS PHP Widget
? Java 6 Software
? BT747-Sourceforge-Project
? BT747-Project-Homepage

Google Earth – Astronomy and Flight Simulator

Google finally did it, again !

The latest Google Earth 4.2 has a new sky feature, for hobby astronomers:
(Select: View -> Switch to Sky)
or even something for flight simulator fans. Fly a F-16 jet or a SR-22:
(PC: CTRL-ALT-A / Mac: Apple-Option-A) Check here for commands.
<object width=”425″ height=”350″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ilzpsWqdueg”></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ilzpsWqdueg” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”425″ height=”350″></embed></object>

Gerry Anderson – U.F.O. (SHADO)

Looking through various offers of SciFi DVD’s on Amazon, I re-discovered an old classic which I liked very much watching in my childhood.
It’s the old british 1970’s series U.F.O. more commonly known as the S.H.A.D.O. (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization) by Gerry Anderson (also known for Thunderbirds ) starring Ed Bishop and George Sewell.

<object width=”425″ height=”350″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/GNEy9FpI3Ek”></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/GNEy9FpI3Ek” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”425″ height=”350″></embed></object>

Although almost 40 years old, and most of the actors already deceased, it was still fun to watch the whole 26 parts of the series again on my DVD collection. And guess what, after the Firefly series and Firefly Serenity, my wife finally became a SF fan now. I wonder if she would fit the purple wig too ? 🙂

Site redesign – expect more soon

As you can see I’m currently redesigning my whole website. Lots of category changes, but I try to maintain most of the permanent links. The main goal is to get a more dynamic front page which is to reflect all content changes in all of the subcategories.
Meanwhile a huge bunch of blog entries is waiting to be, once “cleanly rewritten and illustrated”, published. I’ll also feature on site news aggregation for different interesting news channels. And I’m planning to have an interest-tree-like news structure on the site as well.

You may also want to add my new RSS feed on my private diary entries, as I have already moved them to their own sub page (permalinks maintained).

Be curious…